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Wall Street Closing Figures Inspire Hope for Better Week Ahead


Wall Street finished the day mixed. Volume overall was light, but there was at last some good news for the troubled technology sector.

The closing figures on Wall Street left investors with the hope that things may begin to improve over the course of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10,415, a minimal loss of less than 0.1 percent. The technology-laden NASDAQ regained 25 points, or about 1.3 percent, to 1,982. That breaks a six-day losing trend on the NASDAQ. And the broader S&P 500 regained one point to 1,191.

The turnaround on the day was credited to an announcement from Goldman Sachs which upgraded its buying position on Intel, the world's largest microchip manufacturer, as well as on several other companies in the sector. The brokerage house is predicting that while the bad news may not be over for tech companies, they will soon start to turn around, probably in the early part of next year.

Elsewhere, the dollar continues to slip against the Euro, and is now at a three-month low against the European-wide currency. That is yet another sign the U.S. economy is not yet ready to rebound. At the close of day, 89.75 cents bought one Euro.

Moves are being reported in a takeover proposal that could have a major impact on the battle between satellite and cable television providers. Echostar is a company that wants to take over Hughes Electronics, the people responsible for DirecTV. They have offered over $30 billion for Hughes, in a plan to command over 16 million satellite TV subscribers under one giant company. Initially, the Echostar bid wasn't taken seriously, but talks have now opened, and negotiations are underway. However Rupert Murdoch is known to be interested in owning Hughes himself. His company, NewsCorp, is readying its own bid for the rights to dominate the U.S. satellite TV market.

It's being reported that America Online may be preparing for another round of job cuts. Several sources claim the company plans to slash between 400 and 1000 jobs from its Northern Virginia headquarters. The reason being profits estimates have fallen short of expectations. However, representatives from AOL are not commenting on those reports at this time.

Traders are now increasingly convinced the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates when it meets next week. A cut of 25 basis points is expected and would mark the seventh cut so far this year. Analysts are not ruling out further cuts before the year is out.

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